Between Babel and Anglo-Saxon Imperialism?

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Mon Sep 26 12:27:36 UTC 2005


Between Babel and Anglo-Saxon Imperialism?
English-Taught Programmes and Language Policy in European Higher Education

Club de la Fondation Universitaire / Universitaire Stichting

Brussels, 30 September 2005

Seventh in the series The European Policy Seminars of the Academic
Cooperation Association

ONLINE REGISTRATION  ! seminar is full, registrations closed on 20
September (at 15.30).
A waiting list is opened! Please register and you will be on this list. In
case of cancellations, you will be contacted.

 The European Policy Seminars of the Academic Cooperation Association
 The Seminar: English-Taught Programmes and Language Policy
 Full Programme Now Available
 Practical Information

The European Policy Seminars of the Academic Cooperation Association
Europe, and the European Commission in particular, plays an increasingly
important role for our continents higher education institutions. The
Commissions policies have an impact on institutional missions and
positioning, and their programmes provide an important source of funding.
It is therefore essential for universities and colleges in Europe to
learn, as early as possible, about new trends on the European agenda. To
do just this, i.e. to familiarise higher education institutions with the
latest developments in European policy and programmes in education,
training and research, is the purpose of the ACA initiative European
Policy Seminars. The seminars will enable institutions to make the best
use of European funding- and other opportunities.

The seminars target in the first place staff from higher education
institutions specialised in internationalisation and Europeanisation. But
they also address institutional leaders (rectors, presidents, and
vice-chancellors) and the wider range of stakeholders in European
education. The European Policy Seminars follow a highly interactive
format. They provide a deep understanding of the opportunities and
challenges ahead, and be adapted to the needs of participants and the
institutions they come from. The seminars feature highly competent
experts, from the European Commission and European education associations.

Like in the previous year, four seminars will take place in 2005. Each of
these seminars will explore one particular theme in an in-depth way.
Themes to be addressed will be, amongst others, Language policies and
English language taught programmes, the Lisbon Agenda, European
cooperation in the field of research, educational development cooperation,
and the new internal and external EU programmes in education and training.

Between Babel and Anglo-Saxon Imperialism? English-Taught Programmes and
Language Policy in European Higher Education

English is holding a fairly uncontested position as the most widely used
language in international higher education and academic publishing, as
well as the media and trade. In line with this trend and in response to an
increasingly international and competitive environment, a growing number
of universities are now offering programmes taught in English, in
countries where English is not the official language. This seems to be in
contrast with EU policies promoting diversity and multilingualism, and it
is perceived by many European stakeholders as a simple means for
universities to generate more income.

This seminar offers a forum for this debate. It explores and questions the
present and future role of English in higher education in the context of
European language policies. Last but not least, it will have a look at the
practical implications of a higher education which is partly or fully
imparted in English.

Would higher education imparted in English limit ones ability to express
oneself and thus put content on a secondary level? Or are domestic
students better off being taught in English, so as to be prepared for
further study or work abroad? What are the best practices to be adopted by
universities? These and many more questions will be debated by some of the
most prominent experts in multilingual education, amongst which ACA is
proud to announce Philippe van Parijs (Universit Catholique de Louvain),
Luca Tomasi (European Commission),  Bob Wilkinson (University of
Maastricht), Hilde de Ridder- Symoens (University of Gent), Claus
Gnutzmann (Technische Universitt Braunschweig). The crew is completed by
ACA Director Bernd Wchter.

Seminar Programme
Thursday 29 September 2005

Welcome dinner

Friday 30 September 2005

9.00 Registration and coffee

9.30 Welcome
English in European higher education: setting the scene
Bernd Wchter, ACA

10.00  Plenary session:
Yesterdays news? The language issue in higher education throughout history
Hilde Symoens, University of Ghent

10.30  Coffee break

11.00 Plenary session:
Babel: a curse or a gift? Two positions on language policy in higher
The triumph of English: a case of linguistic neo-colonisation?
Claus Gnutzmann, Technische Universitt Braunschweig

English in European higher education: attractor, loudspeaker, threat
Philippe van Parijs, University of Louvain la Neuve

13.00  Lunch

14.00  Plenary Session:
Diversity above all? The repercussions of EU language policies on higher
Luca Tomasi, European Commission, Brussels

14.45  Plenary Session:
Taming the beast: institutional strategies for the implementation of
English-language-taught programmes
Robert Wilkinson, University of Maastricht

15.30  Coffee break

16.00  Round table discussion:
Are we missing the boat? The role of English in higher education 50 years
from now

ca. 17.00  End of the seminar

Practical Information
Rooms have been blocked in several hotels near the seminar venue for a
reduced conference rate. Participants are asked to book their room
themselves. Please remember to mention ACA when booking a hotel room,
otherwise you will be charged the full prices.

Hotel Floris-Louise
Address: Rue de la Concorde 59-61, 1000 Brussels
Phone: +32 2 515 00 60
Fax: +32 2 503 35 19
ACA Rate: 112 for single room per night, breakfast included (10 rooms
reservation form

Club de la Fondation Universitaire/ Universitaire Stichting
Address: Rue dEgmontstraat 11, 1000 Brussels
Phone: +32 2 545 04 40
Fax: +32 2 513 64 11
ACA Rate:  95 for single room per night, breakfast included (15 rooms
reservation form

Hotel Agenda Louise
Address: Rue de Florence 6, 1000 Brussels
Phone: +32 2 539 00 31
Fax: +32 2 539 00 63
ACA Rate: 92 for single room per night, breakfast included (15 rooms
reservation form

You can register online via this link: Seminar Registrations.

In case of any questions, please contact Ms. Maaike Dhondt or Ms. Anna
Quici at the ACA Secretariat, 15, Rue dEgmontstraat, 1000 Brussels
(Belgium), Phone: ++32 2 513 22 41, Fax: ++32 2 513 17 76,
info at

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